As usual, the night before the big day I set aside clothes, socks, gloves, Gu's, etc. I left the house two hours before the 8:30 AM start time but lost some time because I did not know that Wild Bagels across from P.S. 97 did not open early on Sundays, i.e. not around 6:30 AM. I ended up getting my bagel and coffee from Dunkin, not that further away but it took time to walk to two different places. I was hoping to have a repeat of the Staten Island Half Marathon, i.e. by having breakfast before the race. As feared, the MTA had disruptions and the F train, perhaps others, would not go near Prospect Park. I could have made a transfer from the D to some other line but instead I took the D to Prospect Avenue and made the long walk from Fourth Avenue to Prospect Park West. After emptying my bowels and again emptying my bladder, I got into the short corral just in time for to hear the National Anthem performed. After the anthem, I held back to let other runners pass me to wait for my Garmin to pick up satellite signal, then off I went. I did not stretch before the race! Argghhh!
On the question "Should race shirts be worn on the day of the race?" I am all for it. Some old-school people believe that it's simply wrong to do so, just because you haven't earned it yet. Once you run it, then you can wear it. For me, it's good for the spectators to know what's going on. It's also good for the organizers and sponsors. So I wore the shirt for the 2012 Brooklyn Marathon, which features white letters on a dark green background and is easier on the eyes than last year's, which had black letters on dark blue background. With most races, I proudly wear the singlet for Prospect Park Track Club, but it was cold and I didn't have any other PPTC piece of clothes. I had a Yonkers Marathon (short-sleeved) on the inside and the long-sleeved 2012 Brooklyn Marathon on the outside, and shorts for the lower half. I used baggage service to put away a hoodie and a pants. Running with fewer clothes should have helped me dissipate heat better, but I think if I had the PPTC singlet on the outside I would have gotten more cheers from other PPTC members. Instead, I only got encouragement from some members that know me, which is not that many as I'm new to the club. No stretching aside, I could have used the extra cheer.
A big part of the Brooklyn Marathon consists of six times around the big loop. I should have brought at least six packs of Gu's, but somehow I only had five, a fact I discovered too late, at the beginning of the sixth trip around the big loop. Last year I think I had at least 8 packs. Maybe I dropped a pack or maybe I actually brought along only five packs. After realizing the omission, I soldiered on and only stopped to walk at the west water station. Before that I stopped to walk at every mile marker. The strategy of walking a bit after every mile worked in Yonkers, but then again in Yonkers I also had a half-marathon finisher, some total stranger who I struck a conversation with, paced me for a few miles. Could it be Yonkers is flatter compared to Prospect Park? Yonkers' course included only two loops, so even though it was hilly you only had to run the hills twice. With Prospect Park, there was only one big hill but the runners have to surmount it six times. But then again, I finished the 2011 Brooklyn race in 5:08 and completed this year's Yonkers race in 5:10.
According to my Garmin GPS watch, I finished the 2012 Brooklyn Marathon in 5:11. I was really hoping to have sub-5 marathon, but I instead I had a worst finish-time, not counting the two NYC Marathons in the 1990s (6+ hours, yike!). Oh well. Maybe I didn't train enough, what with the few days after Hurricane Sandy visited I didn't run at all. There are always future marathons!
|The front of the medal for the 2012 Brooklyn Marathon features fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge. Note the holes on the bridge's necklace, i.e. cables.|
|On the back of the medal, in the lower half, there is a circuit board and a button. Press the button and the bridge's necklace blinks! Cool, blinking bling!|